In the last blog I detailed the various areas at which we have been working. Work continued on the conservation of the wall/Canaanite gate area. Digging continued near the location of the elusive bottom step. This team encompasses the largest group people because of the number of workers required to loosen and bag material and run the winch, crane and dumping operation. And a small team continued to dig to probe/test pits inside the cavern.
Today, we added more work stations and tasks. The team working to reach the steps split due to the lack of digging space. The three that split off of the steps team began cutting a vertical probe along the southern wall of the cavern. This will extend the first vertical probe launched two years ago before the decision was made to angle toward the northern wall where a large open space in the cavern was discovered. The hope is that an exit will be discovered along the Southern wall similar to the exits found at some other ancient water systems. Because this material is from the cavern, the decision was made to sift samples of the dirt to search for pottery. The bag dump team at the top added a few members and is now charged with sifting the material.
With five different operations going on simultaneously, the bag count dropped today. Forty-eight bags of debris were removed – not one of our highest totals, but we are really getting to the most important parts of the dig. Hopefully, we will have news of the step in the near future. Once that is found, focus will shift the area that MacAlister covered with a stone “causeway.” This is the area most likely to render significant artifacts that were left untouched by MacAlister and could help establish a date for the system.
Otherwise, it was another great day at Tel Gezer. The team is working well together and there is a great spirit of fellowship among the group. It is hard, hard work but we are enjoying every minute of it.
Today’s Gezer Passage
“(1) The allotment for Joseph began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel. (2) It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz ), crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth, (3) descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. (4) So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance. (5) This was the territory of Ephraim, according to its clans: The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon (6) and continued to the Mediterranean Sea. From Mikmethath on the north it curved eastward to Taanath Shiloh, passing by it to Janoah on the east. (7) Then it went down from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan. (8) From Tappuah the border went west to the Kanah Ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites, according to its clans. (9) It also included all the towns and their villages that were set aside for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites.( 10) They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.